Body Worlds Exhibition coming to Charlotte

On Saturday, November 21, Discovery Place will open the newest presentation of the groundbreaking anatomical exhibition Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life.

Presented by Novant Health, BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life shows the human body through all stages of development and life. Visitors will witness the body through time – as it changes, grows, matures and finally wanes. Inside the 11,000-square-foot exhibition, guests will discover more than 100 real human specimens specially curated for this exhibition. Highlighting optimum health and athleticism, 14 new full-body plastinates appear in various action and athletic poses featuring acrobats, hockey players, a baseball player and more.

Developed by BODY WORLDS’ creative and conceptual designer, Dr. Angelina Whalley, the specimens displayed in BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life demonstrate the complexity, resilience and vulnerability of the human body in distress, disease and optimal health across the human lifespan. In addition to an all-new collection of plastinated specimens, the new exhibition also features:

Centennial Village, a feature on the findings on geographic clusters around the world where the longest living people live—from Okinawa, Japan and Ovodda in Sardinia to the Hunza region of Pakistan.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a stunning look at conception and prenatal development. This area features a multimedia display on cell division and a remarkable collection of plastinated embryos and fetuses acquired from historical anatomical collections.

The Artists' Gaze, an exploration of the sight and visions of artists Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, who suffered from cataracts and retinal eye disease.

All of the specimens featured in the exhibition are real human bodies that have been preserved through Plastination, a process that replaces the natural fluids with reactive plastics that are initially pliable, and then harden after curing. By hardening the plastic in the specimens, they may be permanently preserved in life-like poses, which illustrate how our bodies internally respond to everyday movements.

Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS exhibitions stem from an establisted body donation program that relies on donor consent. BODY WORLDS is the only anatomical exhibition that relies on the generosity of body donors – individuals who willed that, upon their death, their bodies could be used for educational purposes in the exhibition. There are more than 15,500 registered body donors to the Institute for Plastination. More than 1,200 donors are from the United States including 25 from North Carolina, six of whom live in Charlotte.

During the span of the exhibition, guests can explore specific health topics in greater depth with special monthly programs, activities and community partners like American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart & Stroke Association, American Lung Association, and more. Schedules will be announced at the beginning of each month.

Additionally, The Human Body will be show in IMAX , where viewers can witness the incredible story of life on the largest screen in the Carolinas in The Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre. Follow a family through a single day and discover in astonishing detail the ordinary miracles that keep our body running, from a tomato on its voyage to the biological blender of the stomach to a red blood cell cascading into the heart. IMAX tickets are just $5 when purchased in combination with BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life tickets.

Not sure if this exhibit is right for your family? Check out the Family Guide that answers frequently asked questions for parents and caregivers to help prepare for a visit to this exhibit.

Ticket Information

BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life will be on exhibition November 21, 2015 – May 1, 2016. Tickets are now on sale. Tickets to the exhibition will be for timed entries. Before making a purchase, visitors will be asked to select the date and time of their visit. Guests can purchase tickets: online at, via phone at 704.372.6261 x300 or in person at Discovery Place.

Admission to BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life is $24 for adults (14-59); $20 for children (2-13); $22 for seniors (60+) and students with ID, plus applicable sales tax. Children younger than 2 are free. All tickets are for timed entry and include full-day admission to Discovery Place. Discounts are available for Discovery Place Members, Military personnel with ID and for groups of 15 or more. Children age 13 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult while in Discovery Place. Audio tours in English and Spanish are available for $5.

Ticket times will be available during the following hours:

Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (last ticket entry sold at 4:00 p.m.)

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (last ticket entry sold at 5:00 p.m.)

Sunday, noon – 5:00 p.m. (last ticket entry sold at 5:00 p.m.)

BODY WORLDS will close 90 minutes after the last ticket entry, and the rest of Discovery Place will close according to normal operating schedule.